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It's amost two weeks since Ayaka arrived to stay a month with us. It is her first time to visit another country and perhaps she was not only jetlagges to start with but also a little homesick too.
But she fought both remarkably well, we both thought, and on her first full day in Edinburgh came with us while we showed her a few places around the city. One visit was to Carlton Hill-a great place for a full view of the city.
On the top of the hill is "the shame of Scotland" and one of the reasons behind Scots having a reputation for being mean. A Parthenon-like temple to commemorate all the fallen dead of the Napoleonic Wars was begun and was going to be paid for by public subscription. Unfortunately, Edinburgh society decided enough was enough and the money ran out leaving just one row of pillars with nothing else completed. Was it stinginess? Scots say they are not so but rather just "canny" (careful) with their money! One thing's for sure, the ruin-like temple that sits atop Carlton Hill lends a fine view to the hill from anywhere along Princes Street.
While we looked around the monuments and gazed over the views-in spite of the chilly weather, it was a perfect day to see as far as is possible. a young Spanish couple stopped Ayaka and asked her to take their photograph. It was a nice start to her stay with us, we thought, so I took a picture of her taking a picture of them. There were plenty of tourists out that day; Spaniards, French, Polish and Swiss, as well as ChineseAustralian and American. There were also some others we couldn't hear speaking. One group of Swiss who we spoke to told us the result of the Federer v. Murray final match in the Australian Open. I wanted Murray to win but it wan't to be. They were very nice about it though and said they thought Murray would beat him perhaps next time they play.
After the walk up Carlton Hill, we walked back to the car and went home to warm up and have a cup of tea.
Kayoko wanted this picture in the blog as tonight she is going to the stage production of the musical "The Sound of Music" which is on in town in the Playhouse, situated just below the hill. The hills will be alive with the sound of music tonight! Can you hear them singing?
On my trip up the hills, earlier in the week, we found them still under a lot of snow. I thought it had gone but we were able to have another taste of winter, though the buds are on the trees and the birds seem to be singing that Spring is just around the corner.